How to Choose a Patient Hoist for Elderly Care at Home

If you live in Ireland and are exploring the market for a patient hoist for your elderly relative, do you know which one is best for their needs?

Q: Who needs a hoist?

A: Any person that can’t lift their legs into bed by themselves!

Let’s take a typical example. Stephen works in computers in Dublin and his elderly father Sean has had a fall in his home in Tipperary.

He has been assessed for home help and the feedback is that Sean needs a hoist for help getting in/out of bed in the morning.  The home support require a hoist to be able to take him to the shower or to help him to the toilet. Unfortunately for Sean he doesn’t qualify for a HSE hoist.

What do I tell the salesman when I ask him for a price on a hoist?

We need to go through a thorough list of questions to see which transfer system is the best option for Sean’s needs.

Here are some of the options available:

What level of Care does my Father need?

First we need to know what level of function does Sean have?

Is he immobile or can he tolerate standing up for a short period? Can he sit on a chair without support? Does he get muscle spasms or tone when being turned or moved. Can he toilet with assistance?

What is the main care activity that the hoist will be used for; help to get in/out of bed, transfer to a chair, a lift into the ensuite? How many carers will be available to do the transfer?

Knowing what care is needed goes a long way towards finding the right hoist for the job.

What about where the hoist will be located?

  • Is there enough space in the bedroom for the care tasks to be carried out safely?
  • Is there an ensuite and is the door big enough to take a shower chair?
  • Where is the bathroom in relation to the bedroom and does the bathroom layout help or hinder carers and equipment?
  • Can the ambulance man get to your father if he fell off the toilet?
  • Is the flooring suitable for use with a mobile hoist or floor lifter?
  • How high is the bed from the floor?
  • Will the mobile hoist boom reach the middle of the bed? Does the bed have enough free space underneath for the mobile hoist legs to fit? Will the mobile hoist have enough range to lift Sean off the mattress completely? Is there at least 2.5sqm of free space beside the bed to push the mobile hoist into position?

What structural issues should be considered for a hoist?

If Sean’s level of care requires any of options 5 to 8, we need to consider if the ceiling structure is adequate to install a bed hoist system.

What thickness of joists are overhead? What direction do they run in relation to the ensuite? Are the 400 ctc?

What is the floor to ceiling Height?

What about wardrobes/ ceiling lamps – can they be moved?

What about Sean’s future needs?

Will his condition deteriorate over time? Can we help him keep as much of his strength and independence for as long as possible?

What if what we buy today isn’t suitable for him in 12 months’ time?

Can we just run a track from the bedroom to the bathroom? What about a straight rail to get him from bed to chair?

Answering questions about hoists

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, the good news is that Enable Supplies <link to contact us> have over 20 years practical experience of home adaptation and patient handling. We can help you take all the guess work out of choosing a transfer hoist for your mum or dad.

We work with families and OT’s <link to site survey> to establish the specific activities of daily living for each elderly and or disabled resident, with a view to future proofing their care at home needs over a 10 to 15 year period.

Enable Supplies is your trusted partner in disability equipment

Our focus is very much based on inclusive living, providing guidance and expertise in <disabled bathroom equipment>  <accessible kitchens>, medical beds and hospital equipment for homecare.

Our background in accessibility audits, combined with our in house patient handling instructors, means your family has complete peace of mind that you have a home adaptation based on your specific needs. Our inhouse team of certificated engineers means we take complete responsibility for all installation and building works.

Whatever your level of mobility we will have a solution that makes it easy to provide good quality of living standards.

Want to know more?

Contact our team for a free and confidential discussion of your needs and options






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